Starch/polyethylene nanocomposites: Mechanical, thermal, and biodegradability characteristics
Tapioca starch has been crosslinked and blended with 10% low density polyethylene (LDPE) with varying quantities of silane treated nanoclay using an epoxy functionalized LDPE as compatibilizer. The mechanical, thermal, water absorption, and biodegradability characteristics were investigated. The mechanical properties were considerably improved by crosslinking as compared to uncrosslinked composites. The flexural properties increased by more than 50% while tensile strength increased by one and half times. Biodegradability was initially inhibited but became rapid after the initial lag period.